College Preparation & Planning

Visit the SBISD Website:

Tour the college or university of your choice - without leaving home!

Virtual High School Tours @

Am I taking the right classes?

Do you know if you're on the right path to college or career? Find out with a few helpful tips.

What can I do to get prepared and ahead for college and career?

Whether you are in middle school or high school, there is so much you can do to get ahead and be prepared.

Don't Leave it Up to Chance

Don't miss the opportunity to learn everything you know about paying for college and applying for the FAFSA.

Does a degree equal higher pay?

Career exploration is vital when making decisions regarding your future. Now is the time to look at what you love to do, what you're passionate about, and how you can make a living. There's alot to think about!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Make a LARGE College Feel Like Home

Students can create small communities at a large campus by joining student organizations and networking. 

Large universities can feel isolating, but there are plenty of opportunities for students to engage with students and staff.
By + More
Large universities typically offer an abundance of resources and opportunities, but transitioning into a new environment with tens of thousands of students can be overwhelming for college freshmen.
"Coming to an institution like the size of UCF can be very intimidating to anyone," says Belinda Boston, assistant vice president of student development and enrollment services at the University of Central Florida, an institution with over 50,000 students. 
Students who are social and comfortable engaging with people from a variety of backgrounds may fit more naturally into a large campus environment, but experts say that personality and background aren’t necessarily indicators of who can and will be successful at large schools.
"College is the great leveling field. Everyone is starting over so it’s an opportunity for a new beginning," she says. 
Students need to be resilient, vocal and willing to leave their comfort zones to succeed at a large university, says the student development specialist. Experts provide the following advice to help students find their niche at a large university and excel academically and socially.  
• Remember who you are: ​ Students may feel pressure to try to fit in at big schools​, but experts say that students will have better success if they retain their own identities.
"It’s so easy to lose your individuality because students want to blend in. What we say to students is that it's OK to stand out. It's OK to be yourself," Boston says.
College can be the start of a new beginning, but it’s important for students to remember that their experiences, passions and hobbies are still relevant. Experts encourage students to find ways to express those passions on campus and use them to build new relationships. Large universities have a multitude of school-sponsored​ clubs, so it’s likely that students will find something that matches their hobby or have the opportunity to create something new on campus, experts say.
With so much action happening on and around campus, the fear of missing out can be a problem for students who attend large universities, says Susan Cain, an author whose book "Quiet" focused on introverts and shyness.​ 
Cain encourages students to be introspective and take care of themselves physically and mentally. That can mean finding quiet places to recharge, studying alone instead of a big study hall, eating alone ​instead of in ​a packed dining hall and exercising and eating right.
"Once you honor what you need, you’ll find those quiet, ​restorative niches," Cain says.
• Engage with your peers:​  Developing relationships with peers is another way for students to create a sense of belonging at a large university. College officials encourage freshmen to take advantage of thediverse student body and extracurricular programs as opportunity to broaden their world view by connecting with students from different cultures and backgrounds. 
"Everybody wants to connect, everybody wants to feel accepted," says Marisel Herrera, director of the First-Year Success Center at Arizona State University. ​
She encourages students to ask questions and have conversations with each other, but without making assumptions or passing judgment. ​
Experts also encourage students to make connections with older students because they can help freshmen navigate everything from studying to socializing.
​"Find someone who has already walked the path that you want to go," UCF’s Boston says.
"Sometimes our first-year students forget to reach out to older students to use them as mentors," she says.
• Learn how to network: Getting a degree and making the appropriate connections for careers should be a priority, experts say. At large universities, where some core​ classes can have around 300 students, standing out is important.

ASU's Herrera encourages students to sit within the first three rows of the classroom to limit distractions, ask questions and ​introduce themselves to their instructors.
"Faculty are massive resources to students beyond their content that they teach. They’re phenomenal​ for mentoring students. They’re phenomenal for writing letters of recommendation in the future, which is really important to start building as a freshmen," she says. ​ ​
Professors aren’t the only ones who can help students succeed.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Upcoming College Nights - Oct. 7 & 8

Spring Branch ISD will once again open its doors to representatives from approximately two hundred colleges, universities, technical schools, and military service branches at the annual TACRAO College Nights during the first week of October (7-8). College Nights will be held at the Spring Woods High School campus from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. each evening.

Stratford High School, Spring Woods High School, and Westchester Academy for International Studies are scheduled to participate on Tuesday, October 7th and Memorial High School, Northbrook High School and Academy of Choice are scheduled to participate on Wednesday, October 8th.

Students are encouraged to review the list of participating institutions and attend on whichever evening that their selected institutions will be available. 

This is the opportunity for all juniors, seniors and their parents to talk to representatives from across the nation. They can review admission requirements, majors available, and financial aid availability as they continue to research options of either technical school, the military, a two year institution or a four year institution (T-2-4). Seniors also have an opportunity to actually meet some of the representatives who are often those reviewing student admission applications.

New this year! 

On October 7th, there will be a section in the fair featuring the T-2 Options offered at Houston Community College campuses throughout Houston. 

Some other additions to this year’s event will include:

HCC Go Mobile will be open for seniors to register for a PIN number (needed for FAFSA) , complete HCC applications, etc. 
• Section featuring information about financial aid ; and 
• Section featuring information about scholarships. (The Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show Scholarship committee and the Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF)will have a table in the gym. 
 • The Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show Scholarship committee will also hold informational sessions throughout both evenings-come and get an early start on scholarship applications! 

Students Can Register Now

We’re making the college fair circuit much more efficient for you. 

You register ONE TIME, RIGHT HERE, and you get a barcode you can take to any of the automated fairs. Put an end to filling out info cards at every table. Instead, spend your time talking with the schools and finding out what YOU want to know.

For more info on how this all works, click here.

Registration is recommended but not required for admission. 

It is quick and easy! 
• Click on Register Now 
• Click on state of Texas on US map
• Scroll down and click on page 2 
• Click on “attending” TACRAO (dates 10/6/2014-10/10/2014)
• Click on Register Now and complete registration
• Submit and print your bar code for use at Spring Branch ISD College Nights on October 7th and/or 8th College Representatives

Monday, April 21, 2014

Interested in attending A&M? Read the new AGGIEBOUND magazine!

Students are urged to start thinking about college before they even step foot into high school, and choosing the right path can be overwhelming. Visit and subscribe to the one-of-a-kind AGGIEBOUND magazine - a new publication created for all high school students!

Developed and produced by the Office of Admissions, all content is written by current students specifically for prospective students and their families.

Subscribers will be mailed two issues per year that cover topics including academics, university traditions, student life and more. With AGGIEBOUND magazine, you'll can get an inside look at Texas A&M and see for yourself why there is no better place to be. 

How to Succeed and Master the College Application Process

Begin exploring your tomorrow, today.

With a growing video library of over 3,000 videos, you can get advice on

how to succeed in high school, picking the right college, mastering the
college application process, and much, much more.

Visit website:

Not sure how you're going to pay off those student loans?

AIE Provides Free Training Guide for Students

College is an exciting, important time for expanding your horizons and preparing for your career and life to come. On the financial front, earning a college degree is also one of the best investments out there.

As with all investments, however, college requires you to pay in up front in order to reap the benefits down the road. For most students, that means taking out student loans. While it's easy to take advantage now of money you won't have to repay until later, eventually those bills will start rolling in.

Here's where that time machine comes in handy. Learning about student loan repayment now can help you cruise into your future armed with knowledge, so you'll be ready when your payments come due.

To give you that tour of things to come, AIE provides a free online training guide called Six Things You Should Know About Repayment Plans. This short presentation teaches you the essentials of how student loan repayment works, including:

  • Where to find a complete list of your federal student loans
  • What the basic repayment plans are
  • How income-based repayment plans compare
  • How to apply for each plan
  • What to do if you have trouble making payments
Don't let the future take you by surprise! Check out Six Things You Should Know About Repayment Plans on AIE today.

Legislative Intern Position

Our Capitol office is pleased to announce that we will be hiring interns for summer and fall positions. If you know of anyone from District 133 who might be interested in an unpaid internship please have them send their resume with a cover letter explaining their interest in the position and in working at the Legislature to our Chief of Staff, Molly Quirk.

Working at the Capitol is a fun and rewarding experience and we are happy to work with the part time (15-20 hours a week) availability of college students in Austin.

Email at:

We are seeking individuals who can demonstrate the following skill set:
*Clear and concise written communication
*Ability to communicate effectively via telephone
*Willingness to work with constituents
*Strong organizational skills
*Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite and social networking websites
*Clerical Tasks

Summer Application Deadline: May 1, 2014 Fall Application Deadline: August 1, 2014

Looking for SUMMER programs? Check out Summer U today!

Usummer is a free pre-college summer program directory built by Blueprint Summer Programs to help you find the best pre-college summer program for you.  Visit Usummer, Click Here.
Usummer's Spring Top 5
Converse College
 Why? Writer's program, internally run, cheap.
Savannah College of Art and Design
 Why? Location, length, focus.
Stonehill College
 Why? Great college near Boston, affordable, focus on college prep.
Wabash College
 Why? Great college, free, business focus.
Wagner College
 Why? Accrees to NYC, great class options, 3 academic options.

Looking for Information on SBISD's Advanced Movers?

Get MOVING and spread the word! Follow SBISD's Advanced Movers on Twitter and Facebook!

Need more information?

Samuel Karns
SBISD Intramural Coordinator
Health Fitness Specialist
Westwood Elementary

713.251.2121 work
832.606.2693 Cell

Own the Dream - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Information Session

Own the Dream to Provide Informational Session on DACA

What:  Informational Session on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
When:  May 6, 2014  6:00-7:30 PM
Where:  Spring Woods Middle School Auditorium
9810 Neuens Rd
Houston, TX  77080

If you know of someone who may be eligible for employment authorization and entered the United States before the age of 16, tell them about this session.  It is free and will be offered at Spring Woods High School.  You are welcome to come also and learn more about DACA.

DACA Flyer

2014 Congressional Art Competition

The 2014 Congressional Art Competition has begun!

We are excited to announce this year's Congressional Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery, an annual event that allows high school students from our region in Texas and across the country to showcase their artistic abilities.

Any high school student in Texas's Eighteenth Congressional District is welcome to submit his or her artwork to my office. The winner of the competition will win two round-trip airline tickets to Washington, DC.

In addition, the winner's artwork will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol for a year. The Congressional Art Competition allows Houston to showcase the talents of our creative middle school and high school students in the Eighteenth Congressional District of Texas. It provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young artists to have their work hung in the U.S. Capitol for one year. All high schools in the district are encouraged to participate.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of art experts and community leaders. When the winning artist is chosen, his or her artwork is displayed in the U.S. Capitol. In June, Congress will host a reception in Washington for winners from across the country.

The winner will receive two round trip tickets to Washington D.C. to attend the reception. Guidelines for the contest are attached to this email. Interested 9th - 12th grade students are encouraged to contact their principal, guidance counselor or art teacher.

Questions? Contact (713) 655-0050 for more information.

All entries must be received by April 28, 2014, and may be submitted at 1919 Smith Street Ste. 229 Houston, Texas.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The SAT REDESIGN - What you need to know.

The College Board announced major changes to the SAT which are scheduled to take place in 2016. The redesigned SAT will focus on the knowledge and skills important for college and career readiness and  success.

SAT Revisions:

* Relevant words in context

* Command of evidence

* Optional essay analyzing a source

* Math focused on three key areas

* Problems grounded in real-world contexts 
* Analysis in science and social studies
* Founding documents and great global conversation
* No penalty for wrong answers
* The point scale will return to 1,600.

Learn more about the revised SAT.

General Information About Federal Student Financial Aid

Help students and parents prepare for college or career school. 

In order to be effective in advising students about financial aid, most school counselors, college access professionals, and other mentors want at least a basic understanding of aid and the application process. Parents are no different. Browse the pages below to find some general information, tips, and featured resources.(Department of Ed Website)

Preparing for College

It's never too early—or too late—for your students to explore options for college or career school. You can walk through some key steps in preparing for college and provide resources that can help them manage their money along the way.

Types of Aid and Eligibility

Help your students learn where financial aid comes from and what types of financial aid are available, including grants, loans, and work-study. Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria for federal student aid.


To apply for federal student aid, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSASM. Help your students understand that completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and gives them access to the largest source of college financial aid. Also get updates about the FAFSA and find FAFSA completion data.

Loan Repayment Basics

Get tips and resources to use in enhancing your students' understanding of federal student loan repaymentoptions.

Paying for College - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

From CFPB SiteFrom start to finish, we can help you make informed financial decisions about paying for college.  
  • Apply for college
  • Find financial aid
  • Attend college
  • Graduate

We're building a tool that will let you compare financial aid offers so you can see how all those numbers impact your payments down the road.

Understanding college finance

Choose a loan

Three steps that can help you get the right loan for you.

Manage your college money

Practical advice on how to make sure you're getting the best deal.

Repay student debt

Paying off student debt can be confusing. We'll walk you through how to optimize paying off your student loans, even if you're behind.

ACT Report of College and Career Readiness

Each year, ACT provides an analysis of the college and career readiness of US high school graduates based on ACT® college readiness assessment results from the high school graduating class.

ACT expands on this important research with an in-depth look at the academic readiness of African American students. Key report findings include:

  • Nearly all African American students (86%) report that they aspire to earn a post secondary degree.
  • 62% of African American students met none of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.
  • Only 10% of African American students met at least three of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.
  • After high school, 63% of African American students immediately enroll in some form of post secondary education. However, only 62% of African American students who complete their first year of post secondary education persist into the second year.
This report shines a light on the need to improve college and career readiness for African American students while also addressing policies to assist these students with the challenges they may face.

The ACT Team 

HCY Le Tendre Scholarship

Scholarship Opportunity
The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth provides scholarship assistance to students who are homeless or have experienced homelessness during their K-12 school attendance, and who have demonstrated average or higher than average achievement. Applicants may be high school seniors, students enrolled in a GED or other alternative education program, or recent graduates/GED recipients.
The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is a federally funded information and technical assistance center at SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). NCHE hosts the Homeless Education Listserv to help administrators, educators, advocates, and service providers share information and ideas on meeting the educational needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The ideas on this listserv do not reflect the views of NCHE, SERVE, or UNCG.  ALL LOBBYING ACTIVITIES ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. 

NAEHCY LeTendre Scholarship Applications Accepted Now through June 16, 2014

Complete scholarship information can be found at :

Scholarship is posted in Naviance Scholarship site.

2,000 "No Essay" College ScholarshipTM

Super easy. Anyone can win. Scholarships don't get any easier than this. Simply login or register for a free account using the form to the right and you could be the next winner! How it works The $2,000 "No Essay" Scholarship is open to all students and those planning on enrolling within 12 months. The monthly winner will be determined by random drawing and then contacted directly and announced on the "No Essay" Facebook page. One entry per person, but you can come back each month to try again. 

 NEXT DEADLINE:March 31st at 11:00 p.m. EST

Career Colleges and Schools of Texas: HS Scholarships

Open to 10 Seniors at Each High School in Texas

The Career Colleges & Schools of Texas (CCST) are financing 1,000 scholarships for high school students in Texas. Scholarship specifications and requirements include:

- One, $1,000 scholarship per graduate for up to ten seniors at each Texas high school
- The scholarship is accepted at many of CCST's member career schools.
- The selection of students who are awarded is at the sole discretion of the high school counselor.
- School counselors should only award scholarships to 2014 graduates.
- Selected students have the ability to choose which career school they wish to attend from this list:  schools participating in the CCST scholarship program

CCST gives high school counselors the chance to decide which seniors receive the scholarships because CCST knows that educators have insight into the unique need of their students. Also, because not every young adult can or wants to attend a four-year college, the CCST career colleges and schools offer a broad range of programs to help students advance in most every field. For more information about the scholarship opportunity, visit the CCST Scholarship
 Website or view the Scholarship Flyer

The CCST website also features an online searchable directory of more than 125 career schools in Texas including detailed information about class schedules, programs offered and degrees available. Graduating seniors can use this tool to find a program that fits their interests and strengths.

Create. Submit. Win. - Scholarship Opportunity

The College Internship Program (CIP) in conjunction with Matters of Community (MOC) is awarding five $1,000 scholarships to individuals to attend Summer@CIP, a two week Summer Program for young adults with Asperger's, ADHD, and other Learning Differences. Get a taste of independence while residing on a highly-rated college campus!

Learn more about Summer@CIP!

Cougar STEM Summer Camp - REGISTER TODAY

Do you want to cultivate your child's interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)? The Cougar STEM Camp is an affordable four-week camp where children entering 5th, 6th, or 7th grades get out of their desks and into the action. With activities created by educators with 60+ years of experience teaching math and science, your child will be excited to explore real-world STEM topics. 
Monday, June 9, 2014 - Wednesday, July 2, 2014
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Daily 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - Friday, August 1, 2014
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Daily
Extended day options available (7:30 AM - 9 AM and 4 PM - 5:30 PM) 

The Dream Expo @ RICE

Dream Expo Overview & Description
May 10, 2014

Rice University  

The Dream Expo event seeks to inspire adolescents to be functional in today's job market. 

All participants of the event will have an opportunity to visit interactive and informational booths and attend career related seminars. Some of the varied seminars and breakout sessions will be titled:
  • Pathway to the Dream
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  •  Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management Information System

Students from Middle School and High School are invited to participate !

Event Agenda 
  • 9 :00 - 9:30AM:   Student Check-in
  • 9:30 - 10 AM: Welcome  
  • 10:00 - 1:15 P.M

Students will circle the expo by visiting booths  and will rotate through seminars and classes.

About the Student Apprentice
The Student Apprentice is a nonprofit organization committed to providing an extraordinary program for educating future business leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and scholars. The program serves as a platform for promoting independent thinking, critical thinkers, collaboration and camaraderie. 

Students within the program have the opportunity to participate in hosting informational and networking mixers, seminars, expos, and symposiums. All events will provide students with a chance to improve and enhance their academic knowledge. 

The events will always consist of students showcasing projects that educate others or solve a real community issue. Each project will require students to utilize their reading, writing, math, science, and technological skills. 

Students within the organization will also receive training, awards, accolades and scholarships that directly contribute to their present and future academic and professional success.

For more information, contact:
Emanuel Jimenez- College- Community